Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Food Network's January Healthy Every Week Challenge by Healthy Eats

Week 2 of the January Healthy Every Week Challenege was ~ Eat More Whole Grains 

Let's Get Poppin'

When it comes to whole grains I have to admit that my knowledge is on the low side of the spectrum.  I know about some of the obvious ones such as wheat, barley, oats, and brown rice.  To educate myself better on the subject, so that I could do a better job of not only writing this post, but also to help me in week 2's challenge, Eat More Whole Grains, I did some research.  Whole grains are determined by whether or not they contain the entire grain kernel.  The whole grain kernel includes the bran, germ and endosperm.

One of the things that surprised me the most was that my all time favorite snack in the world growing up is a whole grain.  It is something that even to this day I absolutely love in all of its forms.  Corn!  Popcorn to be a puffed whole grain.  Many of us think of it as a vegetable, naturally, but at the same time, it is a whole grain. 

According to the Whole Grains Council in their section labeled Whole Grains 101, whole grains go a long way in helping to reduce the risk of many health problems such as high cholesterol, stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obesity.  Eating whole grains is a great way to add antioxidants to our daily diets, and since that is the case, I say lets pop some popcorn.

I was amazed at the varieties of corn out there once I started looking around.  I knew from growing up in Michigan where we have tons of pick your own vegetable farms we would visit that there were at least two kinds, yellow field corn, and sweet corn.  Who knew there was a ton more being offered out there? Some of the varieties I found include...Dent corn, Flint corn, Sweet corn, Purple corn, Indian corn, Popcorn, Waxy corn, Pod corn, if you are interested in learning more or even growing your own I found this wonderful site in my wanderings you might find interesting.
There are many varieties of Indian corn
Popcorn was discovered in North America by Native Americans.  It has been found in New Mexico as early as 3600 B.C.  There is a lot of fun information on the history of popcorn that can be found at
Can be used to make cornbread

Corn flour is different than corn meal as corn meal is much coarser, as long as the whole kernel is milled, it is considered a whole grain flour.
It is said that purple corn delivers higher levels of antioxidants than blueberries
Sweet Corn
Popcorn that is air popped is a low calorie snack, it has no sugar, no salt, no fat and is high in fiber.  In lieu of butter or salts to flavor the popcorn, Parmesan cheese is a great alternative.

Let's be healthy and get popping!

I did really well with Week 1's challenge, Eat Breakfast Every Day.  I love to enjoy breakfast, but have been guilty of not choosing the most healthy options.  Week 1 found me working hard to change the types of breakfast items I chose.  I did well by eating more fruit, yogurt, poached eggs and staying away from the usual bacon-sausage, and cheesy choices.  How did you do with week 1's challenge?  What choices did you make during week 2 to incorporate more Whole Grains into your meal plans?  Let me know, and Good Luck with week 3!

Learn more about the challenge here at Food Network's January Healthy Every Week Challenge 

Week 3 is Cook at Home, last night I made a Japanese Curry Beef Stew, different and delicious!

The following is a link list of contributing bloggers who got involved with the challenge during week 1, eat breakfast every day.  They offer excellent recipes-tips and more.  Check them out!

Picky Eater Blog: Chocolate Brownie Oatmeal
Family Fresh Cooking: Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
Healthy Eating Starts at Home: Eating Breakfast Daily
Carlene’s Figments: Bits of Nutrition: Eat Breakfast Daily and Avoid Common Excuses
Simple Food, Healthy Life: Week 1 Comes to a Close + Healthy Breakfast Recipes
JBR Nutrition: Be a Breakfast Eater
Ramblings of a Pittsburgh Dad: Healthy Every Week Challenge, Week 1
Meghan’s Kitchen: Ham and Cheddar Hash-brown Bake
Don’t Be (Too) Timid and Squeamish: Maple Macadamia Nut Butter and Back to School Oatmeal
Eat. Enjoy. Live: Healthy Every Week Challenge Week 1 + a Recipe for Oat-y Pancakes
City Life Eats: Breakfast Bias
Boys ‘n’ Berry: Week 1: Oatmeal
Netlycka’s Distracting Confusion: Eat Breakfast Every Day
You Don’t Look Sick: Living With Rheumatoid Arthritis: First Week of Healthy Breakfasts
Deep Thoughts and Amusing Musings: Food Network’s January Challenge
Healthy Kitschy Vegan: Guess What I Ate Last Night? Peanut Butter and Banana Oat Bran Mess
An Uneducated Palate: Creamy Chevre, Pistachio and Fig Breakfast Sandwich
Healthy Plates: Avocado Egg Sandwich
Essentials of Nutrition: The Most Important Meal of the Day
Pursuit of Healthiness: Healthy Every Week Challenge, Breakfast Edition
Chick Bike: January Challenge, Week 1
Nutritious Daily: Breakfast Every Day
Cookin’ in my Kitchen: No-Butter Baked Apples
Hungry Jenny: Breakfast All the Way + an Easy Granola Recipe
Adventures in my Kitchen: Whole-Wheat Lemon Donuts and Egg Cups

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